Nice piece in TNR about the hell to pay, for black officials who endorsed Hillary, despite the wishes of their constituents. I really can't remember a time in my life when the black vote mattered so much. I think one thing that black folks have shown is that, in the primary at least, there's a price to be paid for race-baiting. That goes double for playing it safe. The Essence:

In retrospect, the South Carolina results exposed a divide in the way the campaigns courted African American pols. The Clintons had largely operated from a top-down model--relying on personal relationships and the self-interest of black politicians and hoping their constituents would follow suit. In one now- famous episode, they went so far as to give State Senator Darrell Jackson, a prominent pastor, a consulting contract. By contrast, the Obama campaign generally observed a "no walking-around money" policy. It made the case to African American politicians by pointing to its grassroots strength (though it didn't hurt that Obama's PAC handed out nearly $200,000 to candidates and political groups in early primary states last year). "After we won Iowa, I went to a lot of leaders and said, 'You better get on the train before it comes rolling through here,'" recalls Anton Gunn, Obama's South Carolina political director. "Some laughed it off; others recognized this was for real."

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